Duncan Berry has had an interesting life. This Oregon-raised entrepreneur started out as one of the youngest sea captains on the Oregon Coast at age 16. After two decades at sea, he went on to create several fashion apparel businesses (after a brief stint as an artisan metalsmith). One of his companies, Greensource, became one of the largest organic cotton textile companies in the world – selling to both Walmart and Target TGT +2.67%. After selling Greensource, Berry retired at 50, and returned to reside along his beloved Oregon coastline to work on a Governor’s initiative preserving marine habitats.
Berry quickly realized that the state’s commercial fishing industry had significantly deteriorated since his involvement decades earlier; 93% of the seafood consumed in the United States is being imported from foreign waters, while 90% of our domestic catch is exported to other countries, with no value added. “As a result, Oregon’s coastal fishing communities had plunged into economic despair,” Berry explained, “and the ocean was being indiscriminately plundered.”
Up to this point, three entities had been working on changing the commercial fishing industry: state and federal agencies, conservation NGOs and academics. Berry noticed a conspicuous absence at the table: consumers. He decided the best way to make an impact was to educate and activate consumers through business.
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